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Noah could be out up to 6 months

NEW YORK (AFP) – New York Knicks center Joakim Noah faces an extended period on the sidelines after failing to recover from a shoulder injury which requires surgery, the NBA team said Wednesday.

A statement from the Knicks said Noah, who is serving a 20-game ban over a failed drug test, suffered a rotator cuff injury in his right shoulder in January.

The French star had attempted to shrug off the injury but a follow-up scan taken this month showed no sign of improvement, the Knicks said.

‘‘Team doctors have recommended off-season surgery,’’ the Knicks said. ‘‘No decision has been made yet regarding the surgery and a timeline for his return to the basketball court has not been determined.’’

A report on The Vertical website said Noah could face up to six months of rehabilitation from surgery.

Noah’s injury caps a miserable first season in New York for the 32-year-old, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in February and has not played since.

In March he tested positive for a substance similar to steroids which was included in an over-the-counter supplement.
He was hit with a 20-game ban for the offence of which he has already served eight games.

In 46 games this season for the Knicks, all of them as a starter, Noah averaged 5.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists.